What You Should Look For In A Remote Hire

What To Look For In A Remote Hire

If it’s time to expand staffing at your small business, you might want to consider creating and hiring a remote employee to fill the job.

Here’s how doing so could translate into more candidates heading your way in this tight labor market, plus other helpful tips once you start accessing the expanded pool of applicants.

Small businesses need more workers. More than a third of small businesses surveyed by the U.S. Census Bureau expect to hire an employee before the end of the year.

The Census Bureau reports nearly 36% of the U.S. small business owners who responded to its survey believe they will need to identify and hire new employees in the next 6 months.

In a poll by Hivedesk, business owners said that the most important benefit of hiring remote employees was increased access to talent.

“Hiring remote employees allowed them to find the best talent irrespective of local labor market conditions,” says the post by Hivedesk, a Kentucky-based remote team management software company.

Many small businesses in US metro areas hire in smaller US cities or in another country to overcome talent shortage in their cities.”

Why workers want virtual jobs. Employees are wanting more choices in their next jobs, including the opportunity to work in a remote position. 

After the pandemic forced much of the country’s workforce into virtual positions, employees and employers alike ended up discovering the positives of working at home, including high productivity and less overhead costs.

Further, the experience has left some employees realizing they don’t want to return to the office on an everyday basis.

About 63 percent of employees surveyed by Clever Real Estate said they prefer the remote-work model, and 30 percent said they planned to remain working at home. The survey by Clever, an online real estate agent referral service and education platform, involved 1,000 remote workers and in-office workers in the U.S.

“That shift toward remote-based teams shined a light on the fact that remote work is not only possible but also beneficial for both employees and employers, causing many to consider remote work in the post-pandemic world,” writes Francesca Ortegren, data science & research product manager at Clever Real Estate.

Finding the right employee for your remote position. As you design the opening and look for the right fit, it could help to take into account why candidates want the virtual position.   

Reasons vary, from the flexibility of an at-home job to higher productivity levels.

At Dell, nearly half of the employees who went back to the office after the pandemic said they would rather return to remote work, according to a post on Millionacres, a Motley Fool service featuring real estate investing information.

Many said they simply didn’t like the commute. Of those who said they preferred to work remotely, 62 percent said it was about “reclaiming” the time spent traveling back and forth to work, writes Barbara Zito in the Millionacres post.

Sixty-one percent cited the flexibility of a home-office setup, and 55 percent said remote work saves them money.

Some indicated they preferred remote work because they felt more productive in a virtual environment (39 percent), while others (38 percent) said they enjoyed the additional time with their furry friends (38 percent), writes Zito.

What you’re looking for in a remote worker. Depending on the position and the type of small business you have, you’ll be looking for many of the same qualities and skills in a remote worker as you would for an onsite position.

But you might find that some skills will be more important to the success of a virtual worker, such as the ability to communicate and work independently.

“When it comes to remote working, it is often safer to err on the side of communicating too frequently than less,” says Megan McQuade, community relations director at executive search firm TruPath.

“Hiring candidates who do not possess the level of written and oral communication skills required can create frustration all around and cost the company time and money,” she writes in a guest blog on the TalentLyft website.

Also, she says, look for a candidate who sees getting results as a high priority, over activity.

“It is more about accomplishing results and being accountable without a supervisor having to look over their shoulders. Hiring remote employees who understand that results are more important than just filling the day with activities.”

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